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Darin Pastor (PR Newswire Handout)

Darin Pastor

(PR Newswire Handout)


New suitor emerges for Coyotes Add to ...

The one certainty in the NHL’s longest-running sideshow is the never-ending supply of would-be buyers of the Phoenix Coyotes that no one ever heard of before or after their brief turn in the spotlight. But the scene always switches back to the same small conga line of prospective owners who have stepped into and out of the mess since the NHL bought the team in 2009.

This week’s mystery guest is Darin Pastor, a Buffalo native who claims to have hockey bona-fides. His family owned the minor-league Buffalo Bisons from 1956 until 1971, when the Sabres pushed them aside.

But Pastor’s NHL ownership and public-relations bona-fides are in question after he announced his intention to put together an “exploratory committee” of investors through a media release on Good Friday. Yep, maximum media attention is guaranteed when most of the media is taking the day off. He also announced he contacted Coyotes president Mike Nealy about his interest. Perhaps the fellow missed the part about the NHL actually owning the team.

This is what is known about Pastor: He was a financial advisor with Prudential Securities and then left with a group of colleagues to form a company called Capstone Affluent Strategies in Irvine, Calif., that is affiliated with LPL Financial. Capstone claims to have 30 advisors in 11 cities, including Phoenix, and to control $450-million (all currency U.S.) in assets, which is on the small side compared to the big players in the wealth-management field.

But as long as Capstone’s clients don’t ask too many questions, that $450-million, minus the NHL’s asking price of $170-million for the Coyotes, would leave Pastor $280-million. If he really watches his budget, the $280-million would fund the Coyotes for almost 10 years, since they routinely lose about $30-million a year and the suburban city of Glendale can no longer afford to kick in $25-million a year, or even $15-million, to help cover the losses. Sounds like a plan.

One NHL insider who closely monitors the Coyotes situation, and had never heard of Pastor, wondered if Pastor falls into the category of publicity-seeking wanna-be. When he heard Pastor formed Capstone just last October and then announced a little more than a month ago he was looking for 60 new financial advisors for his company, the NHL guy wondered some more.

Pastor claims if his group winds up with this turkey it “will do everything we can to make sure it stays in the great city of Glendale.” However, any sale will only make sense if it includes as escape clause for another city like Quebec or Seattle within two years if the losses continue. This is just your agent’s opinion but if I heard my financial advisor thought the Coyotes were a good investment without an escape clause, he would quickly be my former financial advisor.

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